PGD & Gender Selection
The first PGD baby was born in 1992. Both parents carried cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition where the body produces an abnormally sticky mucus that can literally choke it's victims to death. For this family and many others pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) allows couples to bring healthy children into the world.
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
Since 1992, we have developed the ability to test for a wide variety of genetic diseases such as Tay-Sachs, Fragile X, Fanconi anemia, and many others. To date, there have been more than 200 births worldwide after PGD testing has been performed on day-3 embryos.
The ability to diagnose and exclude embryos with genetic abnormalities prior to the initiation of a pregnancy offers an attractive means to prevent inheritable genetic diseases. The benefits of PGD include eliminating the clinical risks associated with genetic testing during pregnancy through chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis, as well as avoiding the need to face the horrific decision of terminating an established pregnancy that is found to be affected with a serious genetic abnormality.
It is preferable that couples in this situation undergo IVF. The Fertility Institute of New Jersey and New York is one of the few centers in the country offering IVF for couples who do not suffer from infertility but require preimplantation genetic testing on theirembryos. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a blessing for couples who are at risk for having children with severe genetic abnormalities.
PGD for Recurrent Miscarriages and Unsuccessful IVF Cycles
We also use PGD for couples with previous unsuccessful IVF cycles or with recurrent miscarriages. Embryo testing can improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
PGD is a sophisticated procedure, requiring ultramodern laboratory equipment and skilled microsurgical technique. Our skilled embryology team at the Fertility Institute of NJ & NY can remove a single cell from each three day old 8-cell embryo.
At the stage that this microsurgery is performed, each cell is totipotential, capable of forming an entire human being. Therefore, the loss of the single cell used to perform the genetic test does not harm the embryo in anyway. This single cell contains microscopic bits of DNA, and this DNA can then be tested for different abnormalities. The DNA is tested, using either fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to detect chromosomal abnormality, or another process called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in which the DNA is amplified to test for a single gene abnormality.
Only embryos that are unaffected by the genetic problem are replaced into our patient’s uterus.
In the case of sex-linked genetic disorders, such as hemophilia or Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which generally affect only male children, PGD can be used for gender selection to choose only female embryos which will not be affected by the disorder.